There's no doubt that Denver is a brunch-loving city, but the mid-morning meal isn't just for hipsters, loud ladies and hungover couples in for some hair of the dog. Kids dig breakfast foods, too — especially with fun presentations and bright colors. What they don't dig is a long wait to eat or fancy table settings. No matter how awesome the place is for grownups, no child wants to sit at a table for more than 45 minutes. That's why these ten restaurants are great for family brunch outings: They offer tasty and inexpensive fare, they take reservations or don't usually have a wait, they offer little ones enough space to feel unrestricted, and they provide quick service with an eye on the kiddos. And some of them extend the fun beyond the weekend, offering great breakfast eats all week long.
Bacon Social House2434 West 44th Avenue
You can ply your finicky eater with piles of glorious bacon at this Sunnyside eatery (it's in the name, after all), but there are plenty of other goodies any somewhat normal kid will also get excited about. We're talking smiley-face pancakes, French toast, cheeseburgers and tater tots laced with bacon. Yes, the food speaks to the younger set, but so does the laid-back setting that, in the warmer weather, also encompasses a large, secluded patio. Make a reservation and enjoy brunch with your little ones every day, starting at the acceptable kids' hour of 7:30 a.m.
Cozy Cottage4363 Tennyson Street
Make a reservation in one of Denver's most bustling neighborhoods for some solid, no-frills brunch that will have the whole family smiling all weekend. The eatery opens at 7 a.m. and serves American and Mexican fare until 3 p.m., both inside the cozy walls and on the vast garden patio. Kids love digging in to the simple food, wandering around the yard while they wait, and making friends with the hordes of other children doing the same thing. Crepes and breakfast tacos prove popular, as well as stacks of griddle cakes and the fruit split — a healthy take on the ice cream dessert, loaded with banana, berries, granola and sweet whipped cream. At this family-run restaurant, all of the food is made fresh by chef/owner Michael Mueller, who learned all he knows about the business from his late mother, Jeanette.
Denver Diner740 West Colfax Avenue
The Denver Diner seems built just for children, since the large, well-lit place serves simple and homey food without breaking the bank when Mom and Dad are treating the whole family. Guests can entertain their brood in the wide, refurbished booths or roomy tables over piles of giant pancakes and stacks of thin, crunchy bacon. The quick, no-nonsense service at this 24-hour joint guarantees you'll be in and out before the temper tantrums start, and if there happens to be a wait, it won't take too long to get a table.
HashTAG10155 East 29th Drive
Chef Troy Guard has opened his fair share of restaurants in Denver, but this is the only one dedicated to breakfast. It's fun and colorful, and the menu has plenty of options, making it perfect for your kids' morning meal. While HashTAG doesn't take reservations, there's an online wait list so you can view wait time in advance and plan accordingly. Once there, kids can order from a special children's menu comprising Lucky Charms waffles, a pancake corn dog, flapjacks, warm doughnuts, basic eggs and potatoes and French toast, or they can go with anything off the regular menu that might strike their fancy, whether creative Benedicts, omelets, hashes or a selection of "healthy-ish" dishes (just have an answer ready when they ask what "wake and bake" means). Enjoy this spread with your little ones every day from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Punch Bowl Social3120 Uinta Street
Win parent points with the cinnamon-dusted monkey bread at this festive eatery; it comes warm with caramel sauce, and the whole family can share it before the other goodies come out. There's no dedicated kids' brunch menu here, but the little ones can order eggs from the regular menu or try something from the all-day children's menu, which includes flatbread pizza, cheeseburgers, chicken tacos and grilled cheese sandwiches. Punch Bowl Social also has tons of board games you can bring to your table, plus bowling, miniature golf and other exciting activities that most restaurants don't offer, which adds to the fun — and give you extra bribery leverage to keep the kiddos in line. And if things go really well, treat your little ones to an epic milkshake from the bar's new milkshake lab, where liquid desserts come laced with cake, chocolate, nuts, gummy worms, cotton candy and a whole slew of other goodies. Enjoy this weekend extravaganza starting at 9 a.m.
Rupert's at the Edge2045 Sheridan Boulevard, Edgewater
Expect to see plenty of kids at this Edgewater eatery as soon as the doors open at 7 a.m., all the way through closing at 2:30 p.m. The bistro vibe is relaxing, so children won't be overstimulated, but it's also just fancy enough to make parents feel a little special. Order stacks of chocolate chip pancakes, vanilla yogurt with berries and granola, potato cakes, biscuits and gravy, and so many other comforting breakfast foods. Find elevated eats for the mature diners and simple dishes for those who might be overwhelmed by truffled eggs or a New York strip (because Rupert's serves both). On warmer days eat outside and enjoy the Denver vista over Sloan's Lake. Keep in mind families flock here on the weekends and Rupert's doesn't take reservations, but if you arrive early chances are you won't have to wait long, and if you do, expect some surprise snacks for the kids.
Steuben's Arvada7355 Ralston Road
Make a reservation for brunch starting at 8 a.m. at this comfortable suburban diner, which offers more space for families than its lively but jam-packed Uptown sibling. The waits are short here too, and parking is ample, so little legs won't have far to walk. Otherwise, you'll find the same great food, including chicken and waffles, cast iron French toast, pancakes, fruit, bacon and just about any other breakfast food a hungry child might want. While they wait, the kids can play a round of Steuben's bingo, tic-tac-toe or word search, all printed on the menu.
Sunny's2339 West 44th Avenue
This Sunnyside restaurant makes all of its food from scratch, much of it from organic and locally sourced ingredients. Ryan Turano has owned the joint since 2014, and neighborhood families flock here each weekend starting at 7 a.m. Bring your kids and try out the buttermilk pancakes, organic oatmeal loaded with toppings, strawberry-laden Belgian waffles and a variety of Benedicts. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but if you come early there's not much of a wait, and turnover is quick during busier hours.
Three Little Griddles6040 South Gun Club Road, Aurora, 303-693-4100
10111 Inverness Main Street, Englewood, 303-953-1987
Make the ebelskivers at Three Little Griddles a new tradition for your kids brunching pleasure; it's a fun word to say and the little spheres of golden batter are even more fun to eat, especially if you order them filled with chocolate. But the breakfast spot also offers an array of pancakes (both savory and sweet), egg dishes and cinnamon rolls. Kid-sized breakfast portions include pancakes, griddle toast or an egg with a choice of bacon or sausage and a drink. Three Little Griddles doesn't take reservations but the Aurora and Englewood eateries are both large and the staff keeps the pace speedy. For those super-early risers (also known as toddler), the doors open at 6 a.m.
West 29th Restaurant5560 West 29th Avenue, Wheat Ridge
This charming eatery feels like home — a home where kids are welcome. Start with a warm, housemade giant cinnamon roll. Then let the little ones choose from French toast sticks, eggs with bacon, hash browns and toast, a more lunch-like order of fish and chips; or plain old housemade noodles in butter. West 29th is owned by the mayor of Wheat Ridge, so a warm welcome is inevitable; come during sunny weather and enjoy outdoor brunch on one of two expansive patios. Make a reservation between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. so the kids can sit as soon as you get there and enjoy a calm environment while you brunch.